I’ve been struggling to write a story about a woman who has to get her life back together after her husband runs off with the postman, and then she finds love with the next postman. One problem I’m having is a title, so I thought I’d copy in what I have so far and ask for ideas.
I suppose I should’ve been sad on the day my husband ran off with the postman, but all I felt was a sudden lightness. It was like when someone else takes the shopping bags and you realise just how heavy they were.
I had been married to Robert for fourteen years, long enough not to be surprised that he was that way inclined. The fact that we had only been ‘intimate’ in the beginning, as well as the many other small but definite signs, would have made it clear to even the slowest wit in the end.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. You hear all sorts of terrible tales of women being beaten and raped, and they always highlighted just how good I had it. I was with a wonderful man who loved me deeply on an emotional level, he just couldn’t love me on a physical one.
The day started just like any other, Robert went off to work and I put the kettle on as I waited for the post. Jim the postman usually came in for a brew and a chat.
Jim prided himself on promptness, so when half an hour went by and he didn’t appear, I assumed that we had no post that day and popped a teabag in my cup.
Just then, there was a rattle of the letter flap, and I went to answer. I didn’t think it would be Jim, as he rang the bell without fail.
But it was him, of course, and he handed me the single letter with shaking hands. Thinking back now, I seem to recall that he was wearing jeans, and that there was no insignia on his backpack, and also that the letter had not been franked, but it didn’t stick out at the time.
I offered him tea as usual, which he declined saying that he was late, and I set the letter aside as I finished my tea and then cleaned the house. This was my usual habit, and well known by everyone around me.
I sat back in the reclining chair well over an hour later, red cheeked and hair curling damply. I raised the envelope, and neatly slit it open with a fingertip.
As I read its contents, I laughed at the absurdity of the clandestine affair between two men I knew well. I frowned as I read that it would be futile to try and find them, as they would likely have left the country by the time I read those words.
Then I knew it was serious. “FUCK!” I roared, and burst into tears.
Well, I didn’t say I felt relief straight away. I was suddenly all on my own, and it terrified me. I had been discouraged from associating with people Robert didn’t know and, since he was very busy and didn’t seem to have any friends, I also was friendless.
My next door banged on the communal wall. “Alright in there?”
“No,” I replied frankly.
“Wait right there!” There was a pregnant pause, and then the doorbell rang.
I had never met the neighbours, so my opinion of them was formed purely based on Robert’s catty views of them. With this in mind, I was expecting a bleach blonde with her neckline round her navel and trowel marks in her makeup.
So the soberly dressed matron with iron grey hair swept up in a bun who greeted me with, “Hello, I assume you’re Mrs Jordache.”
“I am, come in.” I stepped aside for her to enter, and lead the way into the kitchen. “Would you like some tea?” I automatically put the kettle back on.
“Yes please. I’m sorry we’ve not met before, I’m Evelyn.”
“It’s okay, what matters is that we are now. I’m Julia. Earl grey ok?”
“I can think of no better choice.”
We were silent as the water reboiled, listening to the melodious bubble, then I instinctively added a few drops of milk and a squeeze of honey to Evelyn’s cup before adding the water